As a producer and distributor of stock photography, we permanently know about the number of pictures in our portfolio. It would take a while to click through all of them – considering half a million photos! We are thankful for every single photo provided by our many excellent photographers being a part of our team for years and also those that are new on board, bringing in a fresh breeze. One of the new faces is Katharina Mikhrin whose fantastic imagery is part of our stock since August 2017. We talked with her about her roots and her view on photography.
Katharina Mikhrin was born in Sankt Petersburg, Russia. Her family has lived there for over 200 years. Therefore her roots and the attached traditions play a significant role in her photography – even though her life path seemed to be headed into an entirely different and less artistic direction. As a lover of classical music, literature, movies and their directors she decided against the arts and creativity to start studying economics and law. It became clear very fast: this is not the right way for her and since the first time she held a camera in her hands and engaged with lights, colors, and compositions she was reminded of her roots. The photography got to her and ever since the fascination didn’t stop.
„Sankt Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are history and art everywhere. Since my childhood, I have been influenced by those things. Russians are addicted. When they fall in love with something they never leave it.“
Meanwhile, Katharina lives in Germany. The original plan was to stay for a year, but now it’s ten already. Moving out of the idyl into the more robust metropolitan Ruhr district did not negatively influence her photography. Since she pushes the trigger, she puts people in focus, often her own children. They know exactly what composition their mother is looking for. She puts a high value on interpersonal relationships and emotions. Besides her family, she often photographs women. She exactly knows how to place them, so she gets fierce pictures of self-confident personas. „I made the experience that women have fewer fears in front of the camera. They are more interested in being photographed then men. They’re not shy but very open and free“ Katharina says.
„I don’t take photos of professionals, no models but normal every day females. Maybe I will try to photograph models in the coming years. Who knows.“
At shootings, Katharina is permanently in motion. You could think she is in charge of the posing and not her models. „I always try to capture the natural beauty of women. My models should see their pictures and feel as if they were looking into a mirror. That’s the point where I’m happy about my work“, says Katharina about her way of working. Doing that she often uses natural light and a 35mm fixed focal length.
„To me, stock photography is a clear concept, composition, bright light and high color quality. I pursue the ideal, and therefore I have to learn a lot.“
Katharina was introduced to stock photography by a friend from Sankt Petersburg. Besides that, she often takes individual portraits of families or produces picture content for corporate social media outlets. With a grin, she confesses: „Until I started doing stock I thought it was only pictures of plastic apples and laughing people with really white teeth in front of a white background. When I discovered real-life stock, I was fascinated.“
„In our community, every photographer is very respectful.“
At Westend61 we enjoy to accompany Katharina right from the beginning of her stock career and also to give her some tips. We found her talent via social media where she is pretty active. We have featured her a couple of times in our #Instawestend-Best9-Feature. We work together at her portfolio ever since. It is this Cooperation and the respectful handling that she admires at Westend61. „Since my first contact with Westend61, I was in love with them. They treat me very lovely from the beginning“, says Katharina.
„I want to change the way classic kindergarten, and school photos look. I want to exchange those for lively portraits.“
In the future, Katharina will stick to her roots and keep taking photos of her family and children. Recently she started a new project that means a lot to her: with her natural style of photography, she wants to change the way kindergarten and school photos look as she wants to give them a lifestyle touch. She is also planning on a series of self-portraits which we are waiting for with excitement.
Find Katharina’s highlights in her portfolio.